The Minister of Finance has invited the private sector, businesses, farmers, marketers, and general public to attend an Economic Recovery Post Covid-19/TC Harold Forum on Wednesday 29 July, 2020.
Venue: Vanuatu Convention Centre
Date & Time: 29th July, 9am-12 noon
Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) representatives will be attending this forum, however it being a Government declared public holiday and being the day prior to Independence attendance from the general public for the event may not be optimal. For this reason, the Chamber has written to the Minister of Finance sharing some suggestions to consider and wanted to share them below with the public.
The Chamber has also made a formal request for key sector consultations be organized for after the Independence celebrations, focusing on tourism, agriculture and manufacturing, to provide the sector businesses with clarity on future strategies of the Government and the creation of clear policies to be guided by.
Chamber’s Three Key Suggestions to support moving the economy from ‘response’ to ‘recovery’;
Survival: what the private sector needs to preserve jobs
- An extension to the current Employment Stabilization Payment until the borders re-open provides existing businesses a fighting chance to survive and service the anticipated return of tourism.
Without the ESP VCCI estimates over 6,000 employees would have lost their jobs since March. The actions taken to date by the Government, including removal of fees for business registration and other taxes, has allowed the private sector to stay afloat and operational during these difficult times. Our recommendation is to continue this already budgeted for support for an agreed upon period.
Recovery: what the private sector needs to create more jobs
- Support for capital investment. Businesses need access to finance. For example 0% loans. To recover and build businesses need capital.
Many local economies are supporting businesses to meet with banks to consider projects and assess their viability and ability to repay a loan. If the business fails, the loan is state-guaranteed and thus the banks get their money back but the money from the loan has still been injected in the local economy to support stimulation. If the business succeeds it creates jobs and generates income for the Government.
- Encourage activity. Support diversification, innovation and entrepreneurship. Provide those with no capital a way to build a resilient and sustainable future for themselves and their communities.
To invest in the countries future there needs to be an investment fund made available by the Government in partnership with the private sector to support the next generation of Ni Vanuatu entrepreneurs.
Consultation and collaboration with key industry sectors on future initiatives is strongly recommended. We ask that the Government works in collaboration with the private sector and its industry leaders to achieve health and prosperity for all Ni Vanuatu.